Where is the axolotl from?
Only a few wild axolotls remain in Lake Xochimilco, Mexico, which is located near Mexico City.
While axolotls once lived in Lake Chalco as well, this lake was drained in order to prevent flooding. Xochimilco is the last remaining lake of the Mexican Great Lakes and is greatly reduced from its original size. Unfortunately, the Xochimilco habitat has deteriorated in recent years because of pollution and the introduction of exotic fish predators. As a result, the axolotl is listed as an endangered species and is protected internationally.
To learn more:
Koenig R. 2008. Endangered species. Sanctuaries aim to preserve a model organism's wild type. Science 322:1456-1457.